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Publisher Accuses Ad Agencies Of Routinely Taking Bribes

Jim Edwards

Ad agencies who buy media on web sites routinely ask for unwarranted gifts, according to an anonymous publisher interviewed by Digiday.

Bribes, kickbacks, gift-giving, rebates and volume discount schemes are a common part of how deals in advertising get done. Yet few in the business are willing to admit it on the record. We've covered a number of cases -- at Aegis's Posterscope unit and at Walmart, to name two -- but the media is usually disinterested in the issue.

Digiday's source, however,is plainly sick of the way ad buyers ask publishers to sprinkle a little sugar on their offers. Here's what he or she said:

It might be because they are lazy or ill-informed about the client’s business or mistreated by the client or all of the above, but it happens more than it should, and it’s a huge shame. ... the willingness to be bought (jeans parties, Southampton parties, concert tickets, whatever),

[Agency staff] don’t return calls, don’t give meaningful feedback, [arrive] late to meetings, [act] unprofessional, abuse relationships by asking for stuff that far exceeds reasonable T&E spending.

Here's some of our previous coverage of ad agency shenanigans:

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